A Guide to the Art of Egon Schiele

Despite his early death at the age of forty-five, Egon Schiele continues to be one of the most influential artists in modern history. His work ranges from portraits of the countryside to explicit images sold to private collectors. His career spanned nearly a century, from his earliest self-portraits in the 1920s to his most recent paintings.

Egon Schiele

Early life

During the early twentieth century, Egon Schiele was one of the most important figurative painters in Austria. He was known for producing an astonishing amount of works, including hundreds of self-portraits. His paintings are characterized by a somber palette and irregular contours. He was also known for painting explicitly erotic nudes.

The artist was born in 1890 in Tulin, Austria. His father died of syphilis when he was fifteen. His maternal uncle was a railway official. His mother was raised in a convent. He attended a secondary school in Krems. He later enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Egon Schiele studied under Gustav Mahler. He was encouraged by his teacher. He left the academy after three years. His family began to worry about his future. His uncle wanted him to become a stationmaster. He became interested in trains as a young child. He was captivated by the visual qualities of the moving objects.

The artist developed a particular style, which he called “Jugendstil”. He produced a number of landscapes and portraits in this style. He was also a prominent member of the Vienna Secession movement. He was introduced to Gustav Klimt, who helped him with his first commissions.

The painter’s relationship with Klimt was influential. He arranged models for Schiele and introduced him to possible buyers. He also helped the artist develop his own style.

The artist’s style was criticized at the time for its overt sexualization. His work often depicted distorted, emaciated bodies. The media found this aspect of his work upsetting.

The artist was briefly imprisoned in 1912 for his pornographic artwork. His works were censored in the United States as recently as 1960. However, his impact on the development of modern art has been felt by many artists throughout the years.


During the early twentieth century, Egon Schiele was a prominent representative of Austrian Expressionism. He was influenced by Gustav Klimt, who had a strong influence on his early drawings. He later became part of the “Neukunstgruppe” group, which held several public exhibitions in Vienna. His paintings often contained elements of Art Nouveau, but he also developed a style of his own.

He became a close friend of Gustav Klimt. They both shared an insatiable appetite for women. The two remained friends until Klimt’s death in 1918. They had a strong influence on the development of Neo-Expressionism and Neo-Impressionism.

In 1909, Egon Schiele was invited to exhibit at the Vienna Kunstschau. He also participated in collective shows in Prague and Budapest. He started his first solo show in 1911. He later joined the “Neukunstgruppe” group with other students. He also met Walburga Neuzil, who became a model for him.

Egon Schiele continued his artistic career during the war, producing numerous paintings, landscapes, and cityscapes. He used a more somber palette and preferred the jagged contours of form and structure in his drawings.

He also produced a series of works dedicated to trees. The expressiveness of his work reflected the emotional landscape of the human mind. It was the works of this artist that paved the way for the evolution of modern art.

He was a prolific artist, producing over 3,000 works. His paintings are considered to be darkly expressive and disturbing. His portraits, especially his self-portraits, are characterized by sexualized studies of young women.

He was a member of the Viennese Secession, and his works were a central focus of the group’s main exhibition space. His paintings often depict naked figures in anguish. The use of his work to explore the psychological and sexual nature of the human body pushed the boundaries of conventional portraiture.


Among the most extraordinary self-portraits of the twentieth century are those by Egon Schiele. These pictures are erotic, expressive, and revealing. They are an excellent window into the artist’s psyche, as well as his craft.

They also show the influence of his mentor Gustav Klimt. He helped introduce Schiele to patrons and to other artists. He also had a profound impact on Schiele’s art.

During the war, Schiele painted a number of landscapes, as well as cityscapes. In these paintings, he explored his own psyche, and how the duality of human experience shaped his art.

He also explored the theme of maternity and family. His wife, Edith, was the model for many of his feminine subjects. In this way, Schiele was able to continue his career while being conscripted into the military.

In his self-portraits, Schiele uses figural distortion and erotic incisiveness. He often paints his body in a neo-nude. His flesh appears abraded, but it is still recognizable. His outstretched hand is a symbol of a visceral sense of life.

The first psychoanalytic book to discuss Schiele’s self-portraits, A Self in Creation, offers a new perspective on the artist’s countless anguished self-images. It reveals the ramifications of his childhood, including a failed mirroring experience with his mother. It also explains the aesthetic appeal of his personal struggle.

The Basic Art Series offers a comprehensive overview of the artist’s career, as well as a brief biography and more than 100 drawings with captions. It is a major contribution to the growing literature on Schiele. It also contains an accurate chronology of his life, highlighting his influence on the evolution of modern art.

The best-known example of this is the nude self-portrait, Grimacing. It’s a fascinating work that defies conventional norms of beauty. It features contoured lines, scars, and a squinted eye.

Portraits of the countryside

During the early First World War, Egon Schiele produced a number of landscape paintings. These paintings have a modernist quality, but there is often a subtle link to his figurative work. He was also interested in creating portraits of people that reveal personal symbolism.

For many years, Schiele admired the work of Gustav Klimt. They became lifelong friends. They shared a common muse and influenced each other’s work.

In 1915, Schiele created the painting Female Lovers, which depicts two women in an entangled pose. The model is contorted, revealing the artist’s anxiety through the contours and line.

In 1914, Schiele was drafted into the Austrian army. He was allowed to continue his art practice during his military service, and participated in a number of group exhibitions in Munich, Vienna, and Cologne. He also exhibited with the Der Blaue Reiter group of Expressionists.

In May 1911, he visited Krumau for a few days. He painted his first self-portrait, which hung alongside a portrait by Klimt. The painting serves as the poster for the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

He married Edith Harms in 1914. The couple moved to Upper Austria in May. They continued to make paintings of Krumau while he was stationed there.

In 1917, he returned to Vienna. He sold most of his paintings at the 49th Secession exhibition. During the war, he produced a number of landscapes and cityscapes. He had several exhibitions in Cologne and Budapest.

During the Spanish flu pandemic, his wife Edith died. He also lost his father and uncle. Despite his illness, Egon Schiele continued his artistic practice. He began to paint landscapes and portraits. He was criticized for his controversial poses.

Sale of explicit images to private collectors

During the early twentieth century, Egon Schiele sold explicit images to private collectors. While the artist was never prolific, he did enjoy modest success as a painter. His nudes explored eroticism, desire, fear and procreation.

In 1906, Egon Schiele enrolled in the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts. However, he dropped out after three years. Instead, he focused on his art in Vienna.

In 1907, Schiele met Gustav Klimt, who influenced him in the studio. They formed a mentor-mentee relationship. The two artists subsequently became close.

In 1910, Schiele began making nudes. These works, often featuring emaciated bodies and pulsing lines, explore human experience. They were an important stylistic breakthrough for the artist.

In 1911, he met muse Valerie Neuzil. They moved to Neulengbach, west of Vienna. Their home was raided by local constables. Over 100 drawings were confiscated, and Schiele was sent to jail for 24 days. He was released after a court trial.

In 1912, he was charged with seducing a minor. He was also accused of exposing children to erotic images. In response to the controversy, he was arrested and held in prison for two months. In the end, the judge burned one of his drawings.

After his release, Schiele ceased using children as models and began to draw more sexually explicit images. This change in style brought patrons. But the resulting work was highly controversial. He was called a provocateur.

A series of nudes by Egon Schiele have recently come up for sale. Four of them are in the “male eroticism” category. They are now being sold at Sotheby’s in London. The highest prices for these works are not for most of the sexual subject matter.